Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Myths about Mormons – Mormons aren’t Christian

I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. My church has taught me that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God. He came to earth as a man to suffer and die for my sins and the sins and pains of all others in the world. I believe that salvation comes through Christ alone.

Christus Statue found at the LDS Salt
Lake City Visitor's Center 
One my favorite scriptures on this topic comes from The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Second Nephi 25:26 reads “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophesies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”

The term “Christian” has ancient roots. Wikipedia has a great summary of the history of the word. Originally, “Christian” was used as a derisive term for followers of Christ. The use could even denote slave-like ownership by Christ. Along with the term Nazarene, Christian differentiated Jews who believed Christ was the Messiah from those who did not. Paul endorsed the term Christian as being accurate in indicating our dedicated, dependent relationship with Christ.

Mormons – whose nickname, interestingly, was also a derisive name initially – feel the same relationship with Christ that early Christians felt. It is this dedication, love, and reverence of Christ that earns us the title Christian. In biblical terms, we are truly Christian.

Some will argue that because we do not follow the Nicene Creed or because we believe works are important we must not be Christian. I would argue that we are simply a different “brand” of Christianity. We simply adhere to the initial definition and meaning the term Christian. If you want to distinguish us, I suggest the term “Biblical Christians.” This could help explain differences in our Christianity while not ignoring our deep dedication to and love of the Savior.

I would like to offer one comparison before ending this post. In Buddhism there are three major divisions: Therevada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. Each of these sects is equally Buddhist. No one Buddhist would deny that a follower of another way were less a Buddhist than he. But they have very essential differences. For example, Therevada Buddhists do not believe in the Cosmic (or divine) Buddhas of Vajrayana Buddhism.
Likewise, Evangelical Christians are different from Catholic Christians are different from Mormon Christians, but we are all Christians. We may have different understandings of how our Christianity affects our lives, but we are all essentially Christian. We follow Jesus Christ – He is our Lord.

I know that God lives. I know that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I know that were it not for Jesus, I would have no hope of salvation. It is His grace that allows me the chance to repent and become perfect. I am grateful for His sacrifice in the garden, His death on the cross, and His resurrection from the tomb that broke the bounds of death. I know He lives. 

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